Free Concerts in the Park this Summer start June 14th!

You know that “summer” is right around the corner since the days are longer with a lot more sunshine which means more time for outdoor fun! Starting this Wednesday, 6/14/17 and EVERY Wednesday thru 8/16/17—you’ll want to be at Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) for FREE concerts from 5-8pm! The blues/rockers of the Mark Roberts Band will kick-off this year’s sounds. Plus there will be four free bonus concerts on Friday evenings 6/30, 7/14, 7/28 and 8/11, too! For the complete line-up of bands ranging from bluegrass to jazz to good ole rock & roll, check out http://solvang3rdwednesday.com/solvang-summer-concerts/

Remember, Solvang Third Wednesday events continue this summer featuring the Wine & Beer Walk (from 3-7pm), where you can enjoy 2 tastings at 5 places of your choice, for just $20 per person; plus, there an added restaurant deal: select Solvang restaurants feature a special 3-course Solvang 3rd Wednesday menu, for just $25++ per person. As a tie-in to the Solvang Farmers Market, the 3-course menus include ingredients sourced straight from the Market. Participating Solvang merchants offer 3rd Wednesday deals on merchandise. You should definitely consider spending the night with special Solvang Third Wednesday hotel discounts! Cheers to the official arrival of summer in Solvang!

Memorial Day Happenings

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is all most here.  First and foremost, on Monday, 5/29/17, at Noon in Solvang Park–join with officials, veterans, family and friends to commemorate all men and women who have died in military service for the USA. This ceremony is free, everyone is welcome to attend and will feature a performance by the Santa Ynez Wind Ensemble; speakers Rear Adm. Brian Brown, vice commander of the Joint Forces Component Command for Space at Vandenberg Air Force Base; Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans; and members of American Legion Post 160 and the Boy Scouts of America. A flyover of vintage military aircraft is also anticipated. A heartfelt thank you to all who have served esepcially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout this Memorial holiday weekend, there’s certainly plenty of places and opportunities to celebrate with a  picnic! If your family is like mine, picnics in the park are a favorite. There are choices aplenty for perfect picnic settings around Solvang. First of all, did you know ALL Solvang parks are FREE and open to the public daily? Solvang Park & Gazebo right in the center of town on Mission Drive at First Street. For a more active group, check out Hans Christian Andersen Park at 775 Atterdag Road, with a skate park, play areas and tennis courts within easy walking distance of downtown. Then, there’s the super-fun, built by the community Sunny Fields Park on Alamo Pintado Road with a Danish-themed wooden play structure, swings, rope bridge, picnic area, ball field and three brand new beach volleyball courts. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/outdoor-activities/

Wine Country Marathon & Mother’s Day, Oh My!

So much is happening around these parts here in the merry month of May! For the runner in you, it’s the 11th annual Wine Country Half Marathon crossing the finish line in Solvang on Saturday morning, 5/13/17. The race begins in Santa Ynez and the course winds through Los Olivos and Ballard Canyon before finishing on Copenhagen Drive followed by a celebratory wine festival in Solvang Park. (Registration is still open, so run fast & sign up!)

Sunday, 5/14/17 is Mother’s Day, so remember to remember Mom and celebrate her with some special treats. Here in Solvang, shopping for a gift for Mom (or the Mom-like) person in your life is made pretty simple by choices at 150+ shops, 20 wine tasting rooms and restaurants. (According to my mom, a gift certificate is often the best idea so she can get what she really wants!) Check out all the options here: or better yet, bring Mom for a visit to Solvang—creating lasting memories that you can share year-round!

Cheers to the Vintners Spring Weekend!

You can’t miss the “bud break” and “leafy shoots” happening in the vineyards surrounding us here in Solvang— so you know what that means! It’s time for the 35th annual Vintners Spring Weekend. This year, a full 4-day celebration of our local wines is April 20-23, 2017 with a special emphasis on new releases! Sponsored by the non-profit Santa Barbara Vintners organization, there are so many exciting events and activities on offer— you’ll definitely want to come stay, sip and swirl around Solvang for awhile! Don’t miss “The Grand Tasting” Festival event on Saturday, 4/22/17 featuring over 100 wineries and winemakers, more than thirty food purveyors and chefs; and live music at River View Park in nearby Buellton.

Saturday evening , check out the Big Bottle Bash at K’Syrah, Solvang’s new special event venue, featuring large format wines brought by guests and winery representatives paired with a delicious family style dinner. All weekend long there are vineyard tours, winemaker dinners, barrel tastings and special open houses throughout the area. So, you need to make hotel reservations now and get your tickets in advance. Click here for all the details!

Delicious! Taste of Solvang is THIS Week! March 15-19, 2017

THE most delicious, desirable “foodie” events are happening from Wednesday, March 15 through Sunday, March 19, 2017 during the 25th annual Taste of Solvang! Tickets are still available—so get yours today! Remember, there’s the popular Farmers Market Chef Walk & Dinner on Wednesday, 3/15 with Chef Pink of Bacon & Brine.  Then on Thursday evening, 3/16, Learn To Blind Taste Like a Sommelier at Wandering Dog Wine Bar.

Sip + Savor Opening Night with 25 Santa Ynez Valley chefs, bakers, caterers, winemakers, and brewers plus music from the Sean Wiggins Band is Friday evening 3/1. The Tasting Trail with 30+ taste stops around the village is Saturday, 3/18 from 11am-4pm. The always popular Wine & Beer Walk on Saturday & Sunday has extended hours this year. On Saturday evening, there’ll be a Buttonwood Farm Winery Winemaker Dinner at Cecco Ristorante AND on Sunday morning, 3/19 at 11am, Brunch at Mad & Vin at The Landsby.

Purchase your Taste of Solvang ticket package OR individual event tickets “ala carte”  now. Get more tasty, tempting details and buy your tix here: www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang-2017

Say I Do in “Little Denmark”

happy-valentines-day-everyone-vectorSince today (2/14/17) is Valentine’s Day, your thoughts can turn to love and marriage if you’re like me! Admit it, at some point, you (or someone you know) has dreamed of jetting off to Europe and tying the knot. Yet flying to Europe to get married can be time and cost prohibitive. Yet it doesn’t have to be if you “get hitched” here in Solvang, California’s Little Denmark. Combining amazing Scandinavian architecture, incredibly scenic venues, and mild year-round weather with friendly, professional services is the recipe for any memorable special event.

From just you two or 200 or so, I think you’ll “fall in love” with choice of 18 exceptional hotels plus even more places with banquet/meetings rooms and outdoor areas. Consider some of these options: the gardens at the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, the Wildling Museum art-filled rooms; Solvang Festival Theater (private reception area under the oaks), Solvang Park (with its charming gazebo), Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall (so versatile, great hardwood floors for dancing) or Hans Christian Andersen Park (delightful shady picnic groves easily reserved) or historic churches including Old Mission Santa Ines and Bethania Lutheran (pictured at left). Solvang_BethaniaChurch

The staff at the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau is happy to offer recommendations and referrals. Just call 1-800-468-6765 and make your wedding dreams reality in Little Denmark! 

 

Loving Those Sweet Treats

Sweet-Solvang_1136You’re probably very well aware that Tuesday is February 14—Valentine’s Day! So, have you shopped for something special for your sweetheart (or sweetheart-to-be) yet? Sharing a treat is a delicious way to show you care—and it’s so easy to do here in Solvang since this is the place to satisfy sweet cravings year-round. So many of us crave chocolate! 2013 Taste of Solvang Pro Winner Dessert-Ingeborgs Dark-Light TrufflesDiscover family-owned/operated Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates that has been using authentic recipes for handmade confections since 1961 (how can you possibly choose between mile or dark chocolate truffles made with filled with so many options?) Also founded in 1961 (what was going on that year?) is the Old Danish Fudge Kitchen that makes the real deal using an impressive copper pot heated over a gas-burning stove mixing 25-pound batches with all-natural ingredients; then poured onto marble tables for cooling (you can watch and sample, try the chocolate peanut butter or yummy dark chocolate and other specialty blends.) And if you can’t make it to Solvang in person right now, both of these shops will ship direct to your sweetheart!IMG_6523Tenley Fohl Photography_Taste of Solvang 2013And of course, Solvang’s five authentic Danish bakeries have plenty of options too!

If you’re really stumped, you can definitely make reservations for breakfast/lunch or dinner treats at one of Solvang’s incredibly diverse restaurants! For more delicious details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/dining